Fiona Russell Outdoor writer

Testing conditions

Fiona tested the jackets on the hills of Scotland and in a range of weather conditions, from cold, wet and windy through to warmer, windier and wetter! She is usually a size small or UK10 although she is fairly tall at 5ft 8in and has long arms. The jackets were weighed on her home digital scales.

This review was first published in the Spring 2023 issue of The Great Outdoors.

This lightweight jacket – the Arc’teryx Beta – gets a ‘Best Buy’ accolade from Fiona Russell who dubbed it a ‘high performer’.

The Beta is a regular-fit waterproof jacket, as opposed to the Arc’teryx Beta LT model, which is a slimmer fit. I have been testing the small (S) size, which is very roomy and offers enough space for a few layers underneath.

There are only three colours to choose from, ranging from black to dull ochre. The seven women’s sizes – from XXS to XXL– cover a good range.

At 268g for a women’s Small, the Arc’teryx Beta is a lightweight jacket with a bluesign-approved fabric that feels equally durable and lightweight enough to stow away in a backpack.

The ‘Gore C-Knit backer’ is soft and makes the jacket quite quiet. Sandwiched in between is a Gore-Tex waterproof membrane. Arc’teryx does not use hydrostatic head figures as a guide to performance. I found that the wind and rain stayed out, and I noticed very little dampness from sweat inside.

The Arc’teryx Beta hood has a wide and stiffened peak, but it is let down by the single volume adjuster. When I reduced the volume to fit, the peak didn’t offer adequate rain protection. The WaterTight zips are more water-resistant rather than fully waterproof and the front zip is one-way, rather than two-way. On the plus side, there is a soft fabric chin guard, as well as three zipped pockets, including two hand pockets at the right height for wearing with a rucksack, as well as an internal zipped laminated pocket that is big enough to accommodate a large smartphone.

I also really like the large zip pulls, which are durable and can be used whilst wearing gloves. The Arc’teryx Beta is a high performer, with a price to match.

Compare the Arc’teryx Beta to other waterproof jackets in our guide to the best waterproof jackets for hiking.